Horgan, Donagh; Kobayashi, Audrey, ed. (2019) Placemaking. In: International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier, Oxford, pp. 145-152. ISBN 978-0-08-102296-2 (

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In spite of intentions, neoliberal urban governance and planning policy over recent decades has led to divided communities, increased segregation, and displacement. There has arisen an encroachment of the private into previously public space, a growth in elite gated communities and increased precarity for those on lower incomes. In this context, this article provides an overview of the concept of placemaking—a progressive practice and process, in which policymakers, nominated experts, and community stakeholders collaborate to deliver on a mutual vision for change in the built environment, and approaches to community flourishing. This article first chronicles the emergence of this increasingly popular philosophy of urban design, with reference to key protagonists—Jane Jacobs and Jan Gehl. Ways in which placemaking practices open up new opportunities for bottom-up approaches to sustainable community development is then documented, followed by reflections on future practice.


Horgan, Donagh ORCID logoORCID:; Kobayashi, Audrey